There are a few very specific things a public body can go into executive session for, and one of the most important is to discuss legal matters and strategy. The Huber Heights City Council last night just fired a shot across the bow by passing a first reading to spend 6 figures to pick a senseless fight against a former council member:
– $100,000 total increase to the 2020 Budget for Legal for the purpose of funding the City’s legal costs in defending against the lawsuit filed by and in conjunction with Janell Smith.
Source: Agenda – View Meetings
If you’ve had any experience with lawsuits, you’ll know, the only true winners are the lawyers, who bill by the hour. So, the Huber council decided it’s better to pay lawyers instead of to pay for 2 extra police officers patrolling, or new parks equipment. And, why are they fighting with her? Well, you don’t have enough time for that. None of us do. The sad fact is that it’s time to give all the jurisdictions in Montgomery County except Kettering a failing grade in government and forcing a massive reconstitution of government, much the way the state threatens to fix failing schools.
Both Janell Smith and Council Member at large Glenn Otto have reached out to multiple agencies both at the state and local levels to address what would seem to be a very simple ethical action: the resignation of council member Seth A Morgan who no longer lives in Huber Heights. How do they know this? Well, all you have to do is go look at his divorce filing in Montgomery County Domestic Relations court where his wife, the plaintiff, is filing against Seth A Morgan, 249 Catalpa Ct. Beavercreek Oh 45440. Case # 2019 DR 00787
Not only does Morgan not live in Huber anymore, he doesn’t even live in the same county, and hasn’t since at least 30 days before the filing on November 18, 2019.
If this sounds familiar, it’s the same thing I ran into when I determined that Dayton School Board President, Adil Baguirov didn’t live in the district, and had committed voter fraud, a federal offense, by listing his place of residence in a home he didn’t live in. When Baguirov changed his voter registration to the house I said he lived in outside the district, I’d appealed again for his removal and got no where. I threatened to file a quo warranto action if he didn’t resign by noon the next day- by posting the potential filing on this site. He resigned at 11:30 the next day.
Now, there is a bigger reason that Morgan wants to silence Smith. She’s got a whole dossier of emails and discussions by Morgan who has an accounting firm- MLA Companies, 15 W. 4th St Suite 450 Dayton OH 45402, where Morgan is steering public dollars to clients of his firm. And, even if he didn’t do what she said, the fact that he’s using his personal email to conduct city business, and City Manager Rob Schommer is responding to these private emails is grounds for a lawsuit for violations of the open meetings act. But, since that act is a joke, why bother? Again, it’s just another bonanza for lawyers who get paid their fees, while the plaintiff can get a whopping $500.
City Council member Ed Lyons sent an email to Mayor Gore asking about why $28K went out to Morgan’s client, for what Lyon’s called a “failed land purchase.” The Morgan client is Eric Joo of Simplify Real Estate and the initial discussions were around June of 2018. Which is interesting because just the previous year Joo was hot and heavy on working on development around the airport as COO of the Schueler Group- a gig that according to his Linkedin profile lasted a mere 7 months.
Eric Joo left Miller-Valentine Group as vice president of development after 25 years with the Dayton-based real estate firm and is now the chief operating officer at Schueler Group.
A developer is preparing to buy 20 acres in Vandalia with the goal of building up to a 150,000-square-foot industrial building.
Lebanon-based Schueler Group is banking on finding a business that wants to grow or move to the land near the Dayton International Airport and Interstate 75 and U.S. 40….
“There’s a lot of industrial activity going on in the north market,” Chief Operating Officer Eric Joo said. “There’s pent up demand for new, modern industrial space.”
Joo said the site on Industrial Park Drive, in the Brown School Road area, would have highway visibility. The real estate firm would market the site and develop the warehouse.
Source: Developer to buy 20 acres in Vandalia, eyes new warehouse Oct 02, 2017
Why council member Morgan is involved in negotiating a city services agreement, on his personal email, directly with a vendor is so obviously illegal that the City Manager should have shut him down immediately and the city should have never done business with Joo.
From an Email between Morgan and Joo Re: Services agreement:
Thank you again for meeting with me to discuss the potential in Huber Heights. Please see the attached Services Agreement. After our discussion, I have made the following changes:
- Added more detail to section 2 SCOPE OF SERVICE.
- Clarified the use and need for third-party subcontractors (and budget)
- Defined a$25k termination fee if terminated without cause.
- Included timeing in the phases (Exhibit A)
If you like, we can meet with Mark (Campbell- a councilman) and Whoever else you believe appropriate o discuss and execute.
To which Morgan responds:
I apologize for the delay….
Thanks for the changes… think these make sense generally. I’m curious as to your thoughts on the termination fee? That feels a little sticky.
Other emails include Morgan asking to meet with Schommer and Mark Campbell, the longest serving member of Council to meet with Joo to discuss development- on 9/11 at Coco’s. Let me just say, that commissioners meeting at restaurants to do city business is criminal. The whole point of the city manager form of Government is that the professional managers are supposed to run the city- the elected officials are just supposed to serve as a board of directors and oversee the actions of the manager, and give guidance.
In last nights council meeting Otto, who had filed a complaint to the mayor to make the residency of Morgan public, was told by the current vice Mayor Nancy Byrge basically responded that Otto ought to apologize to both her and the Mayor for making them actually think about this issue.
Both Smith and Otto have gone to media outlets asking for coverage to no avail. They’ve even managed to get the Sheriff to investigate, but Mat Heck, the Prosecutor who doesn’t prosecute, won’t take action. They have also gone to the Secretary of State, the AG, the Board of Elections, the Ohio Ethics Commission, the Ohio Elections commission and the board of elections over the above issues- and one other one.
Mark Campbell tired to submit forged signatures in his own hand to get Danna Plewe on the ballot in November of 2019. The BOE director, Jan Kelly flat out called it in an email to Glenn Otto on Mar 4, 2019 that “the Montgomery County Board of Elections rejected in Whole Part Petition #5 as it appeared signatures 1-4 were all of the same handwriting and therefore should not be counted.”
The signatures are all of Campbell’s family members residing at his address. Note, on the petition in bold all caps “WHOEVER COMMITS ELECTION FALSIFICATION IS GUILTY OF A FELONY OF THE FIFTH DEGREE”
Hello? FBI? Department of Justice? Are you going to investigate this hot mess of corruption anytime soon? Remember, RoShawn WInburn who you just allowed to plead guilty for accepting bribes in Dayton, used to be a City Council member in Huber Heights.
A better use of that $100,000 in legal fees would be to hire an investigator to start prosecuting members of the Huber Heights city council for ignoring Smith and Otto with their legitimate complaints, and their city managers involvement in off-the-record meetings with council members to do deals outside of normal channels.
Did I mention the mayor, Jeff Gore, an employee of Huber Heights schools already got caught doing a Richard Clay Dixon. He’d tried to claim sick days from the school board when he was in San Francisco at a National League of Cities conference. He’s been caught- and had to pay it back.
The only real solution is to stop allowing all these banana republics run as private fiefdoms for the political class to line their pockets without the necessary oversight of a free and powerful press or public watchdog. See www.reconstructingdayton.org for more information on the incredible amount of waste in our county.
12 Feb 2019.
No one on the Huber Heights council can play stupid on this, as you can see by the attached response to a public records request by Matt Truman. I’ve consolidated the multiple documents and made them as ADA compliant as possible. The City of Huber Heights is to be commended for publicly posting the responses to Public Records Requests, it’s the first I’ve seen it done.
I actually have to work, so all I could do is skim the documents, but, it’s pretty clear it’s more than just having Seth Morgan resign at this point, there has been an extensive amount of denial and coverup of crimes committed by members of this council. The fact that Campbell forged signatures alone and that no one did anything is indicative of a culture of corruption.
Read them and post your analysis in the comments please.
Hopefully, we’ll see some media attention to these issues. The Dayton Day-Old News had an article today about the Smith Case and the $100K
The voters of Huber Heights should be ashamed of the shenanigans going on in City Hall.